Ambassadors Do It After Dinner by Sandra Aragona
|Ambassadors Do It After Dinner by Sandra Aragona
|Reviewer: Sue Magee
|Summary: A brief and engaging look at the life of an ambassador's wife. It's not quite as glamorous as you might imagine!
|Date: April 2020
It's tempting to think that the diplomatic life is privileged and luxurious. It might be privileged, but family connections tell me that it is far from luxurious. Now you're not going to get many ambassadors telling you what it's really like (it's not diplomatic to do so, you know), but the diplomatic spouse, the accompanying baggage, well, that's an entirely different matter. She (and it still usually is a 'she') can tell us exactly what goes on.
I first encountered Sandra Aragona when I reviewed Sorting the Priorities: Ambassadress and Beagle Survive Diplomacy, a lightly-fictionalised look at the diplomatic life, and we managed to have a most illuminating chat afterwards, so when I heard that Sandra had moved from fiction to autobiography, who was I to pass up the opportunity?
Sandra's been a diplomatic spouse in many parts of the world (she has dental work from four out of five continents to prove it) and she's mastered the peripatetic lifestyle. She can also Never Allow a Gap in the Conversation in four languages, or five if pushed and is also international standard on Weather. British by birth, she's married to an Italian who was his country's ambassador to Moscow and then London, after postings to Nigeria and Brussels and there are plenty of stories to be told about what really happens behind the scenes - or in front of them sometimes! Don't expect anything indiscrete - Sandra is still a diplomatic wife: the stories might be there, but the names are not. You could be naughty and guess at one or two though!
It's a quick read: Sandra described it to me as to be taken before falling asleep, peacefully, with a smile on your face and it's perfect for these troubled times. The book arrived this morning and it seemed like a delightful way to spend a Saturday afternoon. I remembered Beagle from her first book and it was wonderful that she did not become better behaved or lose her taste for fox poo - or indeed the raw omelette with fox poo aromas, when she got into a hen house.
There are another couple of reasons why it's a quick read. Short chapters are one: there's a constant temptation to 'just read another chapter' and I didn't even try to resist. The other, more important reason is that Sandra knows how to write. Some of the book is laugh-out-loud funny and you're constantly drawn on to find out what happens next. It was a great read and I'd like to thank the publishers for sending a copy to the Bookbag.
For more about the life of a diplomatic spouse, have a look at Sorting the Priorities: Ambassadress and Beagle Survive Diplomacy by Sandra Aragona but if you'd like to know more about the Aragonas after The Career, have a look at But Never For Lunch.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ambassadors Do It After Dinner by Sandra Aragona at Amazon.co.uk Amazon currently charges £2.99 for standard delivery for orders under £20, over which delivery is free.
You can read more book reviews or buy Ambassadors Do It After Dinner by Sandra Aragona at Amazon.com.
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